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tv   [untitled]    November 12, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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well i'm john berman in washington d.c. and here's what's coming up tonight on the big picture. when the democratic party do best with what it champions the progressive policies and causes that will build a stronger america for the fiscal cliff negotiations heating up will democrats heed the advice of f.d.r. and stick to the party's progressive roots also last wednesday washington and colorado became the first two states to legalize marijuana much to the joy college students in both states but as president obama ready to stop nixon's failed war on drugs and allow college campuses to go green and california law says that
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corporations are people so shouldn't you be able to drive in the highway carpool lane just you and your incorporation papers by yourself. you need to know this the biggest message out of the two thousand and twelve election that you'll never hear from the corporate media is this that americans believe and voted to affirm that believe that government can be a solution to the problems we face the government can do good things and that ronald reagan was wrong. america is not a say right wing or even a center right nation we never have been in one hundred thirty five f.d.r. broader social security and we loved it then and we still love it now and that of course is just the tip of the iceberg that proves america is a leftist nation if you call leftist people who believe the government can do things well it started with the founders who put the phrase general welfare in our
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constitution twice first in the preamble to define the reason our government was created and then in the powers to give in to congress article one section eight to raise taxes and spend money to promote the general welfare here's what one of our actual founders alexander hamilton who helped write the constitution had to say about the general welfare clause it was in the twenty first part of his report to congress on how to build a strong manufacturing sector he wrote this in seven hundred ninety one when he was george washington's secretary of the treasury he wrote the terms general welfare were doubtless doubtless intended to signify more than was expressed or imported in those which preceded the phrase is as comprehensive as any of that could have been used because it was not fit that the constitutional authority of the union to appropriate its revenues should have been restricted within narrower limits than the general welfare it is therefore of necessity left to the loo to the discretion
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of the national legislature hamilton continued to pronounce upon the objects which concern the general welfare and for which under that description an appropriation of money is requisite and proper end of quote since then general welfare is included everything from thomas jefferson creating a free college system for the university of virginia they were ham lincoln massively expanding that free college system with land grant colleges all across the nation and creating the department of agriculture to teddy roosevelt passing the pure food act the meat inspection act creating the department of commerce of labor breaking a big corporations regulating the railroads to dry. eisenhower building the interstate highway system and massively expanding our schools and hospitals with government funds which paid for eighty percent of the building of all hospitals in america in the one nine hundred fifty s. general welfare has included everything from child labor laws to the forty hour work week to workplace safety laws america has always advocated this liberal view
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the first president to sign an appropriation to care for poor homeless and hungry people so they could get free housing medical care and food when they were down and out or disabled was george washington our revolutionary war was fought on the premise that government could be good and that we could successfully prove it by creating a good government here course there are good periods of time when even though the vast majority of americans have always been progressive which is what i meant when i said america has always been progressive there were times when our government was actually more conservative the reason for the disconnect is pretty simple the majority of americans couldn't even vote until nine hundred twenty when women got the vote and even then a large minority of americans were kept away from the ballot box by jim crow policies that were only outlawed the one nine hundred sixty s. but continue to this day in places like ohio and florida america has been a liberal nation since our founding as george washington noted in a seven hundred ninety six letter to alexander hamilton if the nation could
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successfully educate all of our people quote sentiments of more liberality in the general policy of the country would result from it and of quote from george washington the result over time was that we ended up with a national policy of free education for all george washington took us liberal and we've been moving that way ever since and so with this massive progressive victory in two thousand and twelve when more democrats than republicans even got votes for the house of representatives the democratic party is the crossroads. will they return to the liberal roots of thomas jefferson the founder of the party and its standard bearers like f.d.r. and j.f.k. or will they take the third way of discredited conserve a downs like ben nelson blanche lincoln and erskine bowles at the end of his second term in office f.d.r. faced this exact same problem with his party he wanted to go even more progressive bringing in democratic socialists are functionally democratic socialist call themselves democrat henry wallace as his vice president party was rebelling saying
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they wanted a moderate so f.d.r. wrote a letter to the party saying in the century in which we live the democratic party has received the support of the electorate only when the party with absolute clarity as been the champion of progressive and liberal policies and principles of government the party has failed consistently won through political trading incher cannery is fallen into the control of those interests personal and financial which think in terms of dollars instead of in terms of human values it is best not to straddle ideals roosevelt wrote the party must go wholly one way or wholly the other it cannot face in both directions at the same time and quote the democratic party went along with f.d.r. nominating wallace and kept moving in such a progressive direction that f.d.r. even proposed a second bill of rights although he died before he could see it through so president obama harry reid nancy pelosi is your party the party of jefferson roosevelt and kennedy or is it the party of joe lieberman erskine bowles and joe
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mansion is a progressive or blue dog is the american people are solidly behind progressive policies from education to health care to taxing corporations on the rich now president obama in the democratic party leadership must decide if they're with the people or with the banks toure's. something to keep in mind with the so-called fiscal cliff looming now for more on this joining me is tom hayden former state senator from california author activist and director of the peace and justice resource center tom great to have you back senator great to have you. thank you tom nice to hear from you great outlined there of our history well thank you what lessons do you think the democratic party should take from last tuesday's election moving forward into these so-called fiscal cliff negotiations. well i think the election of barack obama with organized labor and african-americans latinos asians
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women environmentalist l g b t i mean that's a very impressive spectrum a coalition that i think will move into action immediately. compared to four years ago and i was at a event last night at u.c.l.a. where there were people just to participate in the launch of the environmental activist bill mckibben and three fifty pm ppm crusade to end global warming to impose divestment policies against fossil fuel companies on campuses they're going to be in washington as soon as november eighteenth one year after the president's keystone pipeline decision so that is a very exciting sign that movements are. out of the starting block the week after the election and i expect to see more of that i would say. that there will be
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a progressive income for the fiscal cliff negotiations although. it won't be everything that the left wants i think the president will be able to really stick it to wall street with new appointments and get behind elizabeth warren as a point person in the senate i think a huge rebuilding of new jersey in new york using green economic and design principles infrastructure principles is on the way i'm sure that the dream. will want to legalize their their status and immigration reform i think we need to see three steps here the this year is going to be excitement. twenty fourteen is the end of the afghanistan war and the showdown with the remaining in republicans in the house and we may have to go five years to get five good votes on
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the supreme court but i can live five more years how about you i'm planning on making. you are you know if there's anybody in this country that understands movement politics you know from from you helping right the poor here on statement that kicked off s.d.s. back in the day to to what it's like to be an insider the you know being a being a state senator and in california one of the largest economies in the world. you're the guy what are your thoughts on the role of movement politics going forward versus the role of party politics and what should we be doing you know the people who are watching those of us who care who want to see something want to see this country move in a more progressive direction what should we be doing to make that happen. well i would be putting my shoulder to the wheel. in some kind of collective endeavor maybe with the labor movement or the immigration rights movement not alone not just
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blogging away in the holly in a way in the in the on the internet but. these groups now are experience they have traction they're owed something by president obama. and i think each of them will pursue a separate individual track but collectively they make up a very progressive majority coalition and it'll take several years but i do think we can start down the road along the lines that i already mentioned the rebuilding of new york and new jersey with green. sure the dreamers act the immigrant rights act there's just so much that is going to begin to happen right away. if people who are involved in direct action civil disobedience and are on happy with electoral politics i think that the three fifty. movement is
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a way to go they're not anti electoral but they are you know totally involved in one of the great mass movements of our time in its global end with this . occurrence of extreme could catastrophic weather i think that it's kind of like a peace movements grow when there's a war and this environmental movement will grow because of the catastrophes it could grow very very rapidly and we could see. tremendous movement in the next year i think you're absolutely right and and three fifty dot org is is going to be an important piece of that tom hayden thank you so much for being with us tonight thank you tom good luck thank you great to see you after the break residents of colorado washington state might be ready to light up a celebrant tory joint after passing ballot initiatives last week to legalize marijuana but are president obama and the department of justice ready to let them
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roll the reefer. here is mitt romney trying to figure out the name of that thing that many americans call a tony. i'm sorry i'm just a guy here's what he said. you know what that is my chair so. that's what he was saying. the future isn't a liberal chris. conceivably but it's. you know the corporate media distracts us from what you and i should care about because they're profit driven industry that's. garbage he calls it breaking news i'm having martin and we're going to break that.
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you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else here sees some other part of it and realize that everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm sorry welcome to the big picture.
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in the us to the rest of the news among the biggest winners in last week's election where those of us who want to put an end to richard nixon's failed drug war voters in washington state and colorado took a bold steps last tuesday to approve ballot measures to legalize marijuana for all purposes and regulate and tax marijuana just like al. and already the passage of these new marijuana legalizing ballot initiatives is having a profound impact on that failed drug war in washington state to county prosecutors have already moved ahead and dismissed more than two hundred misdemeanor marijuana cases providing much needed relief to an already overburdened criminal justice system in two thousand and ten alone more than seven hundred fifty thousand
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americans were charged with possession of marijuana and virtually all of those arrests take place on the state level and with states dealing with budget cuts and overcrowded prisons letting nonviolent drug offenders go by legalizing marijuana seems like the smartest thing to do the only question is how will president obama's justice department which hasn't shied away from busting legal medical marijuana dispensaries in california over the last four years how are they going to react to these new laws joining me now is shaun donovan a member of law enforcement against prohibition a former d.a. senior intelligence research specialist shawn welcome thank you very much thank you for having me very pleased to have you with us what's your take on the historic nature of these legalization efforts in colorado and washington well exactly that is historic change nothing like this is has happened before not even as you mentioned richard nixon began the war on drugs forty years ago this is really the
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first significant state pushback against those policies so it's it's a story nothing like this has happened before and it really reflects you know these referenda weren't passed in a vacuum they really reflect a shift in public opinion about about marijuana and about what the proper. way society should go about addressing problems of substance so it's a game changer i have no doubt that other states will follow suit probably as soon as next year or two years from now and i really think this is sort of the beginning of the end of the war on marijuana i agree i think is a tipping point has been reached. prohibition of alcohol you know went into the constitution and came out of the constitution within a decade or so it didn't take very long for americans to figure out that all prohibition did was empower the john villagers of the world basically create a criminal underground and and. and that you know the problems that they had been trying to solve the things like alcoholism were actually medical problems not legal
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problems. do you think that that realisation has really sunk in then and you know you're you're a former law enforcement official that your organization is law enforcement agents by and large officials what is the general sense in the law enforcement community in the united states about the decriminalization and legalization of the or the controlled status alcohol status of. sure well i think you know it's difficult to say exactly how many officers and federal agents that agree with you know that the initiatives in colorado and washington and how many disagree with the war on drugs generally because as we've seen in some pretty high profile cases agents who have spoken out and officers have spoken out and express that opinion while still on duty have been targeted in fired so and so it sort of difficult to really get a sense but i think you know just as the country about fifty percent of the country are going to recent polls now supports the legalization of marijuana you know i think that that shift that trend of public opinion you know is is witnessed in the
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law enforcement communities as well you know the vast majority of people who became cops can become cops because they want to arrest somebody for smoking or growing or even selling marijuana to become came cops because they want to go after people who are doing real harm to our society and to innocent people so i think you know by and large you know even though they may not be able to express what i think is probably more support for this kind of commonsense approach than this expressed by active duty officers before a week or so before the election there was a policy group or a government group in mexico that said that if these two states legalize drugs and just let people grow them in the state that it would take five billion dollars out of the hands of mexican narco traffickers and that was something that the mexicans thought was a really good thing and i remember in those numbers right and do you think that that's actually the case but i think yes i think absolutely it's the case you know that really there is some mexican officials wasted no time in responding to what
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happened in colorado colorado and washington by saying you know this is the time to rethink how we address marijuana right does it make sense to become send federal mexican federal agents mexican military folks to the border to stop loads of marijuana going it can be bought and sold and cultivated legally in into states in the country so i think you know what you've seen on. the part of many mexican officials is you know that this is kind of an opening you know this is an opportunity to really have a. dialogue about the war on drugs and yeah absolutely. cartels drug cartels are now involved not only in drug trafficking but all sorts of other crimes extortion kidnapping prostitution smuggling of pirated goods so by no means is marijuana their sole source of income but it's a very significant source has been dominant it doesn't amount to building here and you know if we were to take colorado and washington are doing and expand. the country no doubt understand. that ourselves and in that
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context in the little less than a minute we have left here any sense of how the department of justice the obama white house is going to react to this. they haven't really been saying that he is still going to enforce the controlled substances act they really haven't you know there's a legal calculus there about whether preemption holds and the federal government would be successful in trying to convince the court to file an injunction against these laws but i think more importantly there's the political calculus which would mean that they're going up against the expressed will of voters in those two states and really express a little of the majority of americans who believe that marijuana should be legalized for recreational purposes so i think those are the conversations i think that are taking place at the justice department right now do they really want to go to court and try to work the will of the voters in those two states when they come up with the super i think you're actually right i was approached. sean donovan thanks so much for being with us tonight.
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in screwed news last week we told you about one hundred communities across america the past ballot initiative seeking to amend the constitution and overturn citizens united and while the election may be over and resentment toward citizens united is that all time high that is that is aster a supreme court ruling is still rearing its ugly head this time in the form of driving citations in california following the logic in citizens united california vehicle code says that the definition of a person includes a human being and a corporation therefore if you're driving in the car pool lane in california and have incorporation papers with you in that vehicle and technically you have two persons in the car should you be able to drive in the carpool only lane the two person only lane. not so fast joining me now is jonathan freeman attorney nonprofit
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consultant co-founder of the center for corporate policy jonathan welcome and a thank you very much tom how you doing i am great thanks for joining us jonathan so what exactly happened to you driving in the carpool lane with your corporation tells the story. well. the the carpool and for those who don't know it's restricted during rush hour two vehicles that are carrying two or more persons as you say and there are road signs which explicitly say that. and the california vehicle code further defines as you say a person as a natural person in a corporation and so when i was stopped by the car. i handed him or showed him the incorporation papers of my family foundation which is a nonprofit and i expected him to say yeah i think you've got a person in the car with you but no he didn't he gave me a ticket and for not having quote unquote two persons in the vehicle at that time
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and the last thing he said to me were you have to have two persons in the car and i said thank you very much and i drove and so what's what's next with you on this case. what's next is that we go to court sometime in early december perhaps may just ember and will be facing a judge who has to say yea or nay who will say yes you can do this with incorporation papers or actually that judge raised the question what is a corporation what signifies a corporation as you know and as you know as a person or still shady no you're not allowed to do that and so we're looking for some sort of judgment or their way i think either way you just might appeal and take it to the supreme court. they're going to far as we couldn't go. and you know
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state law and a lot of minutes a pallet these all have the same definition of a person in their code and that is that a person is a natural person and a corporation we're just going to push your point and want to be light hearted as possible and see how far this goes yet but it addition of this being absolutely brilliant legal and political theater it also could potentially represent a threat to citizens united doesn't. well i was thinking about and. i'm not too sure exactly how it would do that because citizens united really didn't address the issue of personhood very specifically i don't think any and the decision that actually said that corporations are people there has to do with. later on in the ruling excuse me a wrote about shareholders as human beings but then again shareholders and
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a corporation might be other corporations are there for persons i'm not too sure where they would have too much to do with citizens united we're still looking at that ok well it's a good start it's a great educational effort that you're doing jonathan freeman i saw luke you were driving in the anchovy lane with you and the other person in the car your corporation thanks for joining us. thanks very much tom great to see you again. crazy alert got to go to the great white north last wednesday fox twenty three traffic reporter jeff bruce hilary was reporting on the rush hour traffic in and around tulsa oklahoma when he decided to have some fun take a look. and a little bit earlier we had some folks make a special request i know a lot of people said that if their candidate lost the election they'd be moving to
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canada not sure why but it was some of the folks promises out there so let me give you the quickest and direct us route to canada from tulsa you leave out of tulsa here you take highway seventy five northbound ok seventy five northbound up through kansas past kansas city when you get into. watch for that junction for interstate twenty nine because then you want to take i twenty nine out of omaha nebraska right here you want to take interstate twenty nine then to get through soon fall south dakota then up in north dakota and literally i twenty nine to go to the canadian border now. they're laughing at me now when you get to canada this is serious stuff . verily romney supporters are unaware that big government marriage equality and universal health care are the law of the land up north so i'm not sure if they want to be singing and are just. coming out all across the nation americans are suffering suffering from crippling amounts of debt whether they're drowning in underwater mortgages or facing outrageous student loan bills what is occupy wall
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street doing to relieve all that pressure and lift america out of the doldrums of.
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you know how sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else you hear or see some other part of it and realize everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm tom hardy welcome to the big picture. sukhumi. you.


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